Symphony Orchestra set to go on first tour in five years

The orchestra takes a photo after their performance at the College
Orchestra Directors Association in Jacksonville, Florida.
(Photo By Karissa Sharley)
The orchestra takes a photo after their performance at the College Orchestra Directors Association in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo By Karissa Sharley)

Written by: Beatrice Pang

Southern Adventist University’s Symphony Orchestra is set to go on its first long-distance tour since 2018. The 65-member orchestra will be traveling during Spring Break, from March 9 through March 17. The group will be traveling throughout California, performing at various venues in Loma Linda, Mesa Grande, Granite Bay, Lodi and a few other cities, according to Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, conductor of the Symphony Orchestra.

Cadwallader is the organizer of the tour, and she estimates that she has raised at least $85,000 to cover the costs of the trip by calling alumni and receiving theirs and others’ donations. However, she estimates that there will be more expenses to cover.

Cadwallader has been working for months on finalizing all the details — from sorting out how the instruments will be driven from Southern to Loma Linda University, where they will be reunited with the members of the orchestra, to raising $42,000 for airline tickets and, of course, keeping up with weekly rehearsals of the repertoire that will be performed during the tour.

When asked about her motivation behind putting in the long hours to bring the orchestra to California, Cadwallader said the tour is important because “it’s a bonding experience, and there’s no way to replace it. There’s no way to replace that travel.”

Peter Cooper, the dean of the School of Music, echoed similar sentiments.

“For the orchestra to be touring again, long-range touring, to a far away destination … there’s  camaraderie that comes with that [and] … friendships that are deepened,” he said.

Cooper added that the orchestra tour is not only valuable to current students but also important to prospective Southern students as well.

“When our ensembles go out and tour … there are going to be students who hear them play and say, ‘Wow, I want to be part of that there at Southern. That’s where I’m going,’” he said.

This proved to be true for Corbin Weiss, a current sophomore mathematics major at Southern.

 “I remember, in picking schools, I wanted one, which had, like, a good orchestra,” Weiss said. “And so I contacted Mrs. Cadwallader. She [invited me] to join for a concert.”

For Weiss, hearing and experiencing the orchestra influenced his decision to attend Southern. He has now been in the orchestra for about a year and a half and currently holds the position of assistant principal cellist.

The current concert mistress of the orchestra, Elodie Manalo, is excited about the tour for a whole different set of reasons. 

“It’s nice to take a break from school and spend time doing other musical stuff since I’m usually doing science classes for the most part,” she said. “ … It’s nice to take a break from that and just embrace the music.”

Manalo is also looking forward to how the tour experience will affect the sound of the orchestra. She believes it will motivate the musicians to work even harder than they do for performances at Southern.

“Being on tour is going to force people [in the orchestra] to view the music in a different way,” she said. “ … I think that even being in a different environment and playing for an audience different from what we’re used to forces [us] to take a different perspective on things. ” 

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